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People have different opinions when it comes to teenagers working. Some people think it is a good way for teens to learn responsibility and money management skills. Other people believe that teens should focus on their classroom education. Whichever side of the debate you are on, jobs can have a variety of benefits for teens.
Many people, such as Jeffrey Previte, who now have highly successful careers, started out mowing lawns or running other businesses when they were teens. Not every kid who opens up a lemonade stand or cuts the neighbor's grass is going to turn into a corporate magnate, but for some, that first business can spark a lifelong love of entrepreneurship.
Part of being a teen is gaining independence from parents. One way teens do this is by earning their own money so that they don't have to ask mom or dad for some cash every time they want to go on a date, see a movie or buy a new outfit. Earning their own money can also help teens learn how to manage it, which is a skill that will pay dividends when they move into adulthood.
Entry-level jobs are an opportunity for teens to learn valuable skills that will help them in their careers as adults. Teenage workers learn how to communicate with customers, co-workers, and bosses. Jobs teach young adults how to solve problems and deal with conflicts. They also learn how to manage their time both at home and at work. These first jobs also serve as a springboard for future employment by providing teens with references and networking opportunities.
Parents' savings and financial aid may not cover 100% of the cost of going to college. Working provides teenagers with a chance to save up some money to cover some of their college expenses. Additionally, some employers offer scholarships and tuition assistance programs to high school students.
Many teenagers meet people at their jobs that they may never have encountered otherwise. This is not only an opportunity to expand their horizons but gives them a chance to form friendships outside of the group of kids they know from their school or neighborhood. This helps prepare teens for life after high school when they will encounter a much more diverse group of people than they are used to.
While many parents worry that working may cause their teenager's grades to suffer, research has found that many teens actually do better in school and are less likely to drop out when they have jobs. However, this benefit is dependent on working a reasonable number of hours.
While working as a teen does have potential drawbacks, for many teens it is a positive experience. The key is to keep working hours reasonable and ensure your teen is not becoming overwhelmed by taking on too many responsibilities at once.
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